11 November, 2009

Odds and Ends, kind of like the Picture.

This picture looks so pretty at first glance.  Sadly, it's a photo of part of masssssssive island of trash, I guess you'd say, in the Pacific.  Check out the article here.

Other interesting stuff - this is a bit more positive.  Turns out that chocolate milk can help lessen hardening of the arteries.  I'm all OVER that one.

Doing a little knitting today, about which more in a minute, as I am home with Flu Boy.

D. blossomed out with the flu yesterday morning. "Hey, it's my little Asthma Piggie," the pediatrician greeted him.  Heh.    Asthma and swine flu.  Get it?  Lame, but he is a wonderful doctor despite the flopped joke.

Because D. has a history of asthma, and had that ER visit/prednisone treatment with a flare in September, the way the doc is having us treat the flu is to treat D. as if he is in the middle of an asthma flare.  So, twice daily preventive steroid inhaler, and rescue inhaler three or four times daily.  The objective is to keep those airways WIDE open, and thus avoid complications.

Seems to be working. D.  is hardly coughing now, and is feeling super-cheerful, despite the fact that a whacking big dose of acetominophen has not lowered his temp to normal!

And I am knitting, which is a change, eh?  It's a fiddly but fun pattern, called the Round the Corner Scarf. [Mine is very similar to the colors pictured, if you add some vibrant pinks.]  I bought the pattern, and the Noro Silk Garden Sock wool, at Great Balls of Yarn in West Palm Beach, FL, when we were visiting for my awesome sister's awesome birthday/week.  Love the wooly souvenirs of travel...

08 November, 2009

Yes, I'm alive :) Summer/Fall recap

Hi, any faithful readers who are still out there.  I disappeared when summer arrived, but I'll try to catch you up, inspired by the efforts of my NaBloPoMo frequent-posting hubby, and friend Susie.

Quick and dirty recap - D. came home from deployment, stayed home for a month and then went away for another month. Then home for all of 2 weeks, during which we took kiddoes to Disneyland Paris for 3 days. Roller coasters and princesses and a good time had by all!  After that 2-week stay, he left for 4 months' training in the states.

We agreed that 4 months is a jolly long time to not see Dad.  After school ended in late July, the rest of us flew to the US for 6 weeks.  The first half was spent with dad, hanging out, revisiting lots of awesome places in the Omaha area, catching up with friend Susie when our families both met up in Cheyenne [minus D who was in class].

 Second half of trip was amazingly busy, meeting up with friends galore in MD [thanks to Jill and Norm for the awesome crashpad :)], then down to Florida for my sister's big number birthday party and a week of wonderful time, finishing up in Pennsylvania with our lovely Sheila and then a whirlwind of family and friends the last week in New York.

 We got to reconnect with tons of folks - special shout outs to the racetrack siblings and lovely mom-in-law Karyle, to Dawn and Bruce for organizing a great get-together and to David and Donna [aka in-laws] for the massive, wonderful barbecue and party on our last day.  Hubby David was able to fly in for the long LaborDay weekend and get together with everyone, too, and because of other people's kind efforts, all we had to do was show up to soak in time with everyone.

Love you guys!

Then it was back to the UK just in time to start the new school year, which is perking along well for both kids.  I had a low month but am feeling much much better.  David came home 2 weeks ago, in time to share in Halloween and Guy Fawkes festivities, and he's been able to take some leave so we can really reconnect.  Good, good stuff.

I'll leave you with David the Younger's homework efforts from tonight.  He was tasked to write a police report about crashing Santa's sleigh. Awesome!  [block-copied from his typed work]

Police Report

Date: 8/11/2009
Time: 3:35 pm
Place:Santa's workshop

Report 1

Witnesses: Reindeers Donner & Blitzen

Donner: Vell, here is vot happened from our point of view. Ze elf David was test-drivink ze sleigh. Nothink unusual, just around the house unt back onto ze runvay.

Blitzen: Ja, unt zen he looked down - just for a second to check ze speed - unt ven he looked up, there vas ze chimney, unt CRASH!

Donner: Unt zen, ze front of ze sleigh, it collapsed, unt ze whole thing vent through ze roof!

Blitzen: Ja, just like zat!

Report 2

Witness: Elf Tannen Baum

Tannen: I was in the workshop, putting the finishing touches on some jack-in-the-boxes, when there was a loud neighing and then a banging sound. Everybody looked up. Nothing happened for a minute,so we all went back to our work, and that was when the sleigh crashed through.

It was so surprising, all my jack-in-the-boxes popped out!

The sleigh was just hanging there with elf David hanging from it looking sheepish. I'm just glad nobody was hurt!

14 May, 2009

Warning! Actual Knitting Content...

The knit mojo is back in a mild way. I've finished a pair of socks in a tan speckly color, and started a second pair in plain blue vintage sock wool.

I'd like to finish up those blue socks, and bring some really special sock wool along when we go to Normandy in a week for a D-Day sites trip with some other folks from David's work. Maybe this wool (scroll down for picture) - my winnings a while back in Liz's blog contest.

I also have my eye on a gorgeous vest pattern (thanks for enabling, Jill) called Vertigo. Check it out here. Nice, huh?

I shall leave you with some sock pictures, and a shot of David playing with the castle and knights I bought from a friend. This has been a VERY successful toy for both kids!

Neat thing about the castle is that it slots together, and can be packed flat. Not that we've taken it apart yet, in the 2 weeks since we put it together...

Notice that manky, crumply thing in the lower left corner? Unblocked, washed sock. My homemade sock blockers actually work - laminated cardboard, so not very durable, but they are fine for now.

Here's the latest sock in progress. I'd love to finish it tonight...we'll see!

18 April, 2009

Waiting...with Charming Kid Pix for Distraction

The last day or so of a deloyment can seem like a week.  Let's hope it won't literally become a week!  I am so looking forward to my sweetie's return.

Meanwhile, the kids and I have been enjoying the term break.  Two weeks is a loooong time to just hang out.  I think we've all appreciated the respite from the usual engagements. There were a couple of movies, some bowling, hide and seek at the castle with a friend, bike riding, puppet shows created by kids, model-building, and general noodling around. We lucked out yesterday and were at the library in time for some great kitchen science type experiments (Mentos and Coke, layering liquids, fun with electricity)and pizza.

Easter day was lovely.  Here's a shot of the Boy and the Girl in their finery.  Note D's new sneakers...I didn't realize he didn't have dress shoes on til we were in the car headed out to church. Ah, well...they were nice and clean!

Two days later, it was Miss Lily's birthday.  "Now we are six," in the words of A. A. Milne.  Lily got a new bicycle from Mummy and Daddy, big enough for a 6-year-old.  I think she likes it...

Then nine young ladies made a day of it at the local Princess Party salon. It was a symphony of pinkness and pampering.  They did a lovely job making Lily and her friends feel like absolute stars.  Here is the princess in all her glory...

11 April, 2009

Easter Fun

Sorry for the lack of bloggy goodness lately.  I haven't had much exciting to report, really.  No knitting mojo, and now the kids are on spring break for two weeks so we've been running around, errands and bowling and library and a field trip to see Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D down in Cambridge.  That was fun!

Darling spouseman comes home soonish and I am really, REALLY looking forward to that.

I'l placate you all with pictures of Lily's Easter bonnet she wore during the fundraiser a couple of weeks ago (we raised 350 pounds for the preschool - whooo!).  Didn't get a shot during the contest, but got a couple after the party, before we disassembled the bonnet for Easter re-use.  

Below those pics are some from our Easter egg  dyeing this afternoon.  We used a different type of Paas kit, with little sponges and supah-concentrated dyes, so the eggs look really neat!  David wasn't as into it as Lily, but he did 4 or 5 eggs... The chocolate and jelly beans are laid in, and I am sure we will have a little hunt tomorrow after church. 

Semi-confidential to Jill - I tried the purple foo-foo dress on Lily today - it's really big around the waist  and chest, but we'll cinch it with the sash. She looks adorable!  It will make a great Easter and birthday outfit. Does anyone remember the Saturday Night Live GAP girls?  "Just...cinch it!!"

29 March, 2009

Two Years

Two years ago today, we lost my mom.  In some ways, it seems like it was last week, when I think, "Ooh, I have to share that with mom when I call her."  In other ways, I feel like it has been a much longer time than 2 years.  So much has happened that mom wasn't here to share with us. 

I look at this picture, and it reminds me of so much that I loved about my mother.  She loved the kids, and they loved her, completely.  She knew how to listen to children (and adults), and how to play and create with real imagination.  She was always up for an expedition, even with two broken arms.  And she loved being outside, in beautiful places and some not so obviously beautiful.  My mother was a true "noticer" of things.  She had the observant eye of an artist, and I love that she shared what she saw.  When I notice the wonderful little details in something seemingly mundane, I thank her for it.  And I will try to keep up the adventuring, and spirit of play, in her memory.

Missing you always, mother dear!...

14 March, 2009

100 Books

I've seen this meme around.  When Betsy sent it to me on Facebook, I decided to play along.  I have read 48 of these - not saying I REMEMBER all 48, though!

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. (I can’t verify this statistic).

Also.... The Da Vinci Code? Come ON... read this and it's no "great 100 books" sort of book.  Same for Bridget Jones' Diary.
1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (x ) In fact I am re-reading it, again, right now.

2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (x )

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte ()

4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (X )

5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee ( )

6. The Bible ( x)

7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte ( x)

8. 1984 - George Orwell (x )

9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman ()

10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens ( )

11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott ( X)

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy ( )

13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (x)

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare ( ) -

15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier ( )

16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (x )

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk ( )

18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (X)

19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (x )

20. Middlemarch - George Eliot ( )

21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell ( X)

22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (x)

23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens ( )

24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy ( )

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (x)

26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh ( )

27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (X )

28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (X)

29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (X)

30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (x)

31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy ( )

32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens ( )

33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis ( x)

34. Emma - Jane Austen ( X)

35. Persuasion - Jane Austen ( )

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (x )

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - ( ) -

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres ( )

39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden ( )

40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (X)

41. Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)

42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (x )

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( )

44. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving ()

45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins ( )

46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (X)

47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy ( )

48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (X)

49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)

50. Atonement - Ian McEwan ()
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel ()

52. Dune - Frank Herbert (x)

53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons ( x)

54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen ( )

55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth ( )

56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon ( )

57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens ( x)

58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (x )

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (x)

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez ( )

61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck ( X)

62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov ( X)

63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt ( )

64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold ( )

65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas ( )

66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac ()

67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (x )

68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding ()

69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie ( )

70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville ( )

71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens ( )

72. Dracula - Bram Stoker ( )

73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X) -

74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson (x )

75. Ulysses - James Joyce ()

76. The Inferno - Dante (X)

77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome ( )

78. Germinal - Emile Zola ( )

79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray ( )

80. Possession - AS Byatt ( )

81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (X)

82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell ( )

83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker (X)

84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro ( )

85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (x )

86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry ( )

87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White ( X)

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom ( )

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (X)

90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton ( )

91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad ( ) started but could not finish...

92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (X)

93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks ( )

94. Watership Down - Richard Adams (x)

95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole ()

96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute (x )

97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas ( )

98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare (X)

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (X)

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo ( )

13 March, 2009

Circus and Other Fun

We've had some fun the last few days around here. Wednesday evening, I took the kids to the circus (wonderful acrobats, cute animals, candy floss...good times!).

Today is Red Nose Day, so the kids dressed up in red and did crazy hair to raise money.  Lily was thrilled beyond words to have occasion to wear the red riding hood poncho, which did double duty as a twirly skirt by the end of the day...

David's hair is SO stiffly waxed and gelled that I am wondering how many shampoos it will take to get it clean!!

12 March, 2009

Lost in Austen

In keeping with my Season of Jane Austen, I found this wonderful miniseries tonight: Lost in Austen.  Imagine a Pride and Prejudice fan-girl falling into the story herself...   It was so good that I watched all four episodes in a row On Demand, which explains why I am blogging at 2 AM.  I will pay for that tomorrow morning, I know...

Wonderful Mr. Darcy, too.  I highly recommend this if you can find it on DVD.  I think it just aired in the States in January.

08 March, 2009

I Got Nuthin'....

Nothing exciting to report, that is. It's just been a random few days of regular old life, and I don't feel witty enough to make it interesting. That won't stop me from telling you all abou it, however.  Heh. I did get to googlechat with David for a good while yesterday, and I took the kids to Fakenham to scout the Kinnerton chocolate outlet and see a film (Pink Panther 2 - amusing enough, although some of it sailed right over the kids' heads).

 I like Fakenham; it's hard to believe we have been in West Norfolk over 3 years and this is the first time I've shopped the town.  Free parking - that rocks.  Three or four new charity shops to check out  - that also rocks!  I actually scored a very nice aran cardigan that's a size too small but still worth shrinking into, as well as a lovely pair of walking-around shoes.  The kids found some fun books, so a success.

Kinnerton Chocolate Factory has its outlet shop right inside the Aldiss furniture store.  Tons of great deals on various chocolates, including Easter eggs galore right now. I will go back before Easter to stock up for kiddoes.

Today was pretty straightforward - church in the AM, and hanging out in the afternoon. I knit some more on my Helter Skelter scarf, and watched Mamma Mia again. Illogical and stoopid as the plot may be, it's good fun to hum along with. And Pierce Brosnan is such an EARNEST bad singer. After dinner, I chased both kiddies upstairs to bed by 7:15.  I just feel in need of a little staring into space on my own tonight.

02 March, 2009

IKnit Weekender 2009

The most exciting e-mail just arrived at my in-box: IKnit London is a 2-day extravaganza this year and tickets are now on sale.

Did I buy mine instantly? You betcha!! I popped for the 2-day entry ticket, on the off chance that I can be in London for both days. At £15, it's not too much to wager.

I had such a lovely time at my first IKnit London event. I'd like to attend some of the workshops as well this year, which I didn't do last time around.

Knitting around Casa Honsinger right now - I've stopped on the Shepherd's lace shawl. I love the intense purple alpaca I am using, but I don't love it with the garter lace texture. I think a knit lace would work better, so that's in hibernation to be ripped out and reused on something else. I did start a Helter Skelter scarf, courtesy of Awesome Liz at Knitting on the Green. It's in a really subdued purple/grey/green wool, something like the bottom one in her blog post, and I need to get a picture. It's been really good telly knitting for when I watch Time Team!

27 February, 2009

Half-term Ate My Brain, or I'm Still Here...

Sorry, Gentle Readers! I didn't mean to go silent for so long, but the children had half-term holiday last week, and we kept pretty busy. Playdates, a cinema outing (Bolt wasn't half-bad), errands and a couple of days in London.

This week's been back to normal, if by normal you mean I am out of the house all day on various missions! I did go for my mammogram on Tuesday, which I had been dreading (four dear friends of my own age have been diagnosed with breast cancer already). However, avoiding one's mammogram is NOT the rational response. So that is done, over, and I hope shows all clear for another year.

David was thrilled to get to go to the Mart this year (local fun fair - see this page toward the bottom). I'd told him that I thought he'd have to miss it since Daddy is away, and I shuddered at the thought of dragging Lily around a loud carnival with lots of rides that are too big for her. Luckily, his friend Sam really wanted him to come along, so they got to ride all the good stuff on Tuesday, which was also Shrove Tuesday.

Lily and I had our Shrove Tuesday pancakes at home (topped with lemon and sugar, or chocolate spread - nom).

Anyway, back to our London mini-trip. We went down by train, and headed straight to Covent Garden in time for lunch (excellent savoury crepes) and some good street entertainment. Nothing like watching someone do a comedy routine while balanced on a ladder and juggling knives....good stuff!

The kiddies also wanted to visit Build-a-Bear, which we have avoided since we got here. They were thrilled, and didn't much mind waiting in line with all the other over-excited half-term children for their turn to push the buttons and turn the cranks to stuff their very own bears.

Lily chose a basic, and very soft, brown bear, which she named Talitha after a little girl we know. David went for the koala, and chose a leprechaun outfit for him. The koala was dubbed Sydney O'Beary. Both bears travelled the rest of the trip peeking out from the kids' backpacks.

Backpacks - my personal secret for overnight trips to London. Everyone gets a backpack, with their pajamas, next day's clothes and toiletries. Mine's a bit bigger, so I carry the snacks and paper/crayons/book/camera. We keep it light by wearing our jeans twice, bringing light PJs. I also cleverly made everyone wear old socks and underwear on day one, so we could trash it in the morning, rather than packing it up again.

Day two of the trip was spent entirely at the London Zoo, and sadly I have no pictures. We were too busy watching the animals to take many pictures, and none have people in them. Trust me when I say we had a great day. We enjoyed the monkeys the most, but the Komodo dragon exhibit was pretty neat, as was the butterfly house.

For my friends who are or have been in Omaha, got to say...the Henry Doorly Zoo is better. Seriously. The London Zoo is nice, but the Omaha Zoo is NIIIIICE.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures.

Lily spied this wonderful plant near Covent Garden:

David and Sydney O'Beary - we decided Sydney looks sort of like a tidy Einstein:

This Victorian postbox has been painted orange and is used for Zoo donations.

15 February, 2009

Valentine's Weekend

 Happy Sunday, everyone!

We had a quiet but good Valentine's Day here.  Kiddies got a little bit of chocolate and Red Noses, and I enjoyed some chocolate from David (a little Green and Black's Butterscotch bar).  We also got a special call from our far-away Valentine, and he sent red roses, too.  Aren't they pretty? 

'Cause he's  a sweetie like that.  I know how lucky I am.  [Thanks, baby!! I hope your Valentine's chocolate wasn't too melty...]

12 February, 2009


Wow, just when I thought I was getting to know the cycles of East Anglian weather, it went and started snowing. Again!  This is our second substantial snow in a week, if by substantial you mean 3 inches or more...

David's scheduled playdate with James here has turned into an impromptu sleepover, thanks to the white roads.  PJs and a spare toothbrush have been doled out, and today's clothes are in the washing machine, ready to wear again tomorrow.  I think the odds of school being in session are pretty good, but if not, they will have a BLAST playing in the snow again.

Me, I'm happy that the kids are happy, I'm happy that the snow is so pretty, I'm happy the visa paperwork got turned in today before all the snow arrived, and I'm happy to put my feet up and drink a cuppa.

Snow days...

11 February, 2009

A Lovely Day

It's been a busy week here at Casa Knitfarm. We saw off David on Monday morning and he's now safely arrived in the Hot Place.  This time around, he'll be missing Valentine's Day, Lily's birthday, and my birthday, which happens to be today. 

Despite that fact, it's been a really nice day so far.  The goodness started early, with a phone call from David.  He even sang Happy Birthday, although he was in a crowd of other people.  My sweetie...

I've gotten tons of birthday wishes/cards/calls, and even lovely gifties like sock wool, chocolate, roses, and the sweetest pale blue and white teapot just for me. I had a lovely morning chat with Afton and Ali, two friends from church; I bought a gorgeous brownie chocolate cake for my birthday cake; and I topped that all off by meeting up with my friend Ruth at Sandringham for some gorgeous cocoa and a large flapjack (which I cut into bits so that the calories would fall out).

Lily's at a friend's for playdate and tea, David is sitting next to me making up heraldic shields (his latest enthusiasm), and all's mellow in my part of the world.

06 February, 2009

The Day After...

All the lovely snow is turning to slush, and it's raining pretty hard right now. I ran to Tesco after school drop-off and got some groceries (the traditional pizza for the kids for our date night tonight - they demand Tesco pizza for tea when they are being babysat...it's quite amusing). The lines for the tills were incredible! You'd have thought we'd all been snowed in for a week, the way people were stocking up.

The high point of my Tesco run was finding some redbush CHAI tea. I've just made a cup now, and it smells and tastes heavenly.... lovely for the cold day.

Date night tonight, if the weather holds, will be Nando's for peri-peri grilled chicken dinner and then Slumdog Millionaire, which has finally made its way to our neck of the woods.

Here's to the weekend, everyone!

p.s. Picture from this site.

05 February, 2009

Crazy Long Picture-heavy Snow Day Post

Lily and I enjoying the snowy goodness of the garden. I was very grateful for DH's special wool socks with microfleece liners, I will tell you!!

Here David is getting started on his snowman...I really love this picture.
Here's the finished product: a snow pirate with cutlass, hook hand, peg leg, eye patch, hat AND shoulder parrot.  Trust me, they're all there.
Lily giving David a bit of assistance.

Lily and her own snowman, who is named Bob. Really.

I like this shot of the house, and the very snowy lane...

27 January, 2009

I'm Baaaack! Plus Picturey Goodness of Contest Winnings

I know you all have been simply pining away for lack of posts on my part,but fear not. I have returned!!

 The laptop is still awaiting its new power supply (on order), but we seized the moment to update me to a new teensy laptop (10.2-inch screen) with three times the hard drive space of the old one.  D. and I had been talking about it for a while, and when he saw one on sale, I was sold.  The old one will become backup and be cleaned up and set up for kiddie games, as well

I've been getting used to my new "wheels" for a few days now - the hardest part  has been getting accustomed to the British layout keyboard.  It's only ever so slightly different, but that's enough to create constant typos for me.

Everyone's fine, although my head feels stuffed with cotton wool. No exciting knitting news, although I did start some purple lace (Spinner's Lace shawl in deep purple Artesano Alpaca). When it's more than 20 rows, I will get a picture.

I do have some gorgeousness to show off, however.  I was fortunate enough to be quite a winner in Liz's (that would be Liz at Knitting on the Green) blog contest, and the prizes arrived this morning.  Oh. Wow. Isn't the velvet project bag stunning?  I want to wear it, even if it could only be a glove.  But wait...check out the two skeins of hand-dyed wool - Liz's own handiwork. I am SO impressed at the depth and richness of the colors.  This photo is pretty accurate for color but not perfect. [Click on photo to embiggen] Isn't it awesome?  Any suggestions for the perfect project?  There are 440 yards total, I believe.

15 January, 2009

Stoopid laptop...

My laptop cord/power source problem returned and so I am temporarily computerless.  Thank heaven for my lovely, lovely phone, which allows me to read blogs and send email. However, blogging from the phone...not so much yet.

Stay tuned for scintillating posts after the weekend, I hope!

11 January, 2009

A Little Knittin' Content

Greetings, fellow readers.  David seems to have beaten the laptop cord into temporary submission, so I can once again email/blog/read blogs.  Whoo hoo!

I did get a little knitting mojo going this past week. I found out Tuesday that someone I know delivered her daughter early, over New Year's.  Very early - she is in the hospital and growing away, but has a long way to go, little princess.  I checked out some preemie patterns and made two teensy hats for her, which fit snugly on my fist.  One was a pale pink with lace edging and the other a pale peach ribbed number. Unfortunately,  I don't have any pictures as I couldn't find the camera and wanted to get them to the mum right away.  I hope they will warm this little girl, and that she will oh-so-quickly be in need of much bigger hats.

After that, I eyed my stash a bit (thanks, Lynn, for the tip) and started some Fawkes socks (sort of a flame pattern) in a rust wool that my friend Jill gifted me.  I'm thinking it may not be the right pattern though. The ankle ribbing is just right for me, but the patterned leg is looking pretty baggy.  I can't do much to alter it as there's no fudge room in the pattern and I'm already using size 0 (US) needles.  Sigh.

We'll see.  Maybe Lily's legwarmers, after all!

08 January, 2009

Stooopid computer

My laptop power cord is NOT working and it also seems to be sucking the charge right back out of the computer, so my time online is very limited.  David promises to take it to the computer dudes on Saturday but meanwhile, sorry I am not around.

Knitting mojo - got a little bit back and will post about that soon.

Love y'all!

06 January, 2009

Birthday Wishes and Jane Austen

First things first...happy birthday to my fantastico sweetie pie. I love you, babe. Thank you for all the happiness you bring to our lives.  May 2009 bring YOU much happiness.

There will be cake, and steak, tonight.  Let the revels begin!!

Now, on to lesser things.  This seems to be my season of Austen.  I so enjoyed listening to Pride and Prejudice on DVD a while back.  This past month, I've been sloooowly working my way through Emma, which is just as funny.  I do get distracted by other things, like being really ill, but I think I'll finish it this month. I can't just sit and plow through Miss Austen's books, however.  Nineteenth century authors are a real challenge to me, even though I define myself as A Reader. I have to take it a chapter at a time.  I'm also reading a biography of Jane Austen - will have to go dig out the title on that one  - which is dense, but interesting. 

All that is preface to a Funny Thing I found last night - what if Pride and Prejudice were a series of Facebook posts?  Check out Austenbook.  [Unlike real Facebook, the entries read from top to bottom, for ease...]  Enjoy!!

05 January, 2009


I have recently discovered Zen Habits, a blog about simplicity. Today's post is perfection. If you read nothing else this year, read this post.

Here's the money quote, but the entire post is so worthy.
Stop waiting for happiness. Happiness is right here, right now.

I have spent a lot of time saying to my nieces, and now to my own children, "Live in the now." We laugh when I say it, but I mean: stop thinking about what's coming next; enjoy where you are right now. For all the times I say it to the kids, however, I seldom remind myself.

Let's all live in the now this year. That doesn't mean stop paying your bills and making plans, it just means savor each day, savor the people with whom you interact every day. I'll be working on it!

03 January, 2009

Knitting Mojo - I Haz None

Or, as Austin Powers would say, "I've lost my mojo!"

I feel the itch to knit, yet I can't think of a thing I WANT to knit. So very strange. I haven't really wanted to pick up the needles since before I had the flu, and now that I do, I feel all whiney and "I don't knooooow what  I want." Annoying.

I do think my reluctance to knit before now has a little to do with the Mystery Socks. I'm so sad to say it, but the patterning along the foot just does not agree with me, even when I ripped it back and tried simple ribbing. Just...meh. I am a plain foot girl, I suppose.  I have decided that's OK, however.

I do have some absolutely gorgeous pink/purple merino sock yarn I bought at John Lewis in December, but it is also hand-wash only, and I just can't decide whether I am up for hand-wash socks. It's so pretty, maybe it should become a scarf or something more visible, but it's also very strongly variegated.

Hmmm. I thought briefly tonight about some legwarmers for Lily out of some yarn she loves. I call it "pink vomit." Got it in a Lucky Dip at IKnitLondon in September. Check out this website - it's the large skein pictured.  I can't think of a better use than Lily legwarmers, can you?

02 January, 2009

I shall call you .... Jane.

Today Lily got her Christmas fishies. Because it's a small tank, she's limited to 1 goldfish or 4 minnows, plus a butterfly plecostomus (awfully pretty name for a rock-like, scum-sucking catfish thingie). Today we got the minnows. We'll have to wait a month or two for the plecostomus so we can build up some scum.

Much fun was had deciding what to name the minnows. I liked the idea of Ip, Dip, Sky, and Blue (sort of a Brit eenie, meenie, minie, mo), but Lily didn't. Now, three shall be named Rainbow Shark, Sallerina, and Ella. And one is Minnow To Be Named Later, I suppose.

Myself, I like a collective name for the fish. And so, I shall call them Jane. Jane Austen.

Thanks to Flickr for the image...